NUI Honours Enda Kenny

Pictured at NUI Galway honorary conferring ceremony ( l-r): Dr Attracta Halpin, NUI Registrar, Dr Enda Kenny, Dr Maurice Manning, NUI Chancellor and Dr Jim Browne
Oct 23 2017 Posted: 14:17 IST

WATCH: Honorary graduate, Enda Kenny, give advice to students interested in social and political activism

The Chancellor of the National University of Ireland Dr Maurice Manning today conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Laws (LLD) on former Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD.

Having conferred the degree on Enda Kenny, the NUI Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning said: “The National University of Ireland is pleased to honour Enda Kenny today as we have honoured his predecessors. Through honouring those who have served in the office of Taoiseach, NUI affirms our sovereign state, our democratic system of government and the freedoms it confers on the citizens of Ireland.”

Introducing Mr Kenny, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway surveyed his career in Irish politics and highlighted his achievements.

“For more than four decades, Enda Kenny has been a member of Dáil Éireann, conscientiously representing his Mayo constituents, while simultaneously making enormous contributions to national and international politics.  He inspired many with his vision, his sense of purpose, his tenacity and, no less important, his innate humanity and personal decency.  Today we salute him as the ‘Quiet Man’ from Mayo who, when the call came, rose to lead his country out of darkness, to restore it to its place among the nations, and to give all of us a reason to hold our heads high once more.”

The tradition of conferring honorary degrees dates back to the NUI charter of 1908. Since then NUI has conferred honorary degrees mainly with the purpose of honouring academic distinction, whether in the humanities or in the sciences. In addition, the University honours those ‘who, whether in their personal or representative capacities, through their energies, service and actions, have contributed significantly to public life ….’. NUI traditionally honours the office of Head of the Government of Ireland by honouring those who have served as Taoiseach.  

Enda Kenny is ‘father’ of the current Dáil having been first elected in 1975 and re elected in 11 subsequent general elections.

He served as Minister for Education and Tourism and Trade and became Leader of Fine Gael in 2002.  He led the Party for 15 years, the longest period of any Fine Gael Leader.

He became Taoiseach in March 2011 and again in May 2016, the first Fine Gael Leader to be re-elected as Taoiseach in successive elections.  His party remains the largest Party in the Dáil.

His tenure of office saw the exit of Ireland from a Troika bailout, without condition, and saw the restoration of Ireland’s sovereignty and economic independence.

Enda Kenny retired as Taoiseach in June 2017 after 6 years and oversaw a smooth transfer of power to a new government led by Leo Varadkar.

Enda Kenny will remain a TD until the dissolution of the Dáil prior to the next general election.

He is married to Fionnuala and has three adult children.


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